Pattern: There is repeating instances where the protagonist, Lilith, parallels a mother figure. I think this pattern is important because I think her corporation (or lack thereof) in playing this role will determine a lot of events for the story.
• One example is when she is in captivity with Sharad and her motherly instincts for protection wanting to protect him are seen; “She worried about him and wondered how to protect him. Who knew what their captors had done to him- or what they would do?” (Butler 10).
• A second is example is when Lilith learns that she will be the front runner for the humans returning back to earth. She will have to be a mother to them in that she will teach and guide them to be able to survive on their own. Butler writes, “You’ll Awaken a small group of humans, all English-speaking and help them learn to deal with us. You’ll teach them the survival skills we teach you. Your people will all be from what you would call civilized societies. Now they’ll have to learn to live in forests, build their own shelters, and raise their own food all without machines or outside help” (32).
• “That’s the way we think of it. To reach, to give comfort, to feed and clothe, to guide them through and interpret what will be, for them, a new and frightening world. To parent.” “You’re going to set me up as their mother?” (111).
Hypothesis 1: The symbolism of Lilith’s character will continue throughout the novel, as she will cooperate with the Oankali’s wishes and fulfill her duty to Awaken and “parent” the other humans.
Reflection: Based on the examples, I believe my hypothesis still applies. Each example if foreshadowing the events to come. Lilith wants to return to Earth as she believes that that is her only chance of escaping the imprisonment of the Oankali, and she knows that the only way she will ever set foot on Earth again is if she cooperates. We talked in class about whether or not she has the ability to make choices for herself. I think that in this instance she does, she might just not see it that way. Yes, the Oankali have told her that this is her job, but by fulfilling her duty to them then she will get to return to Earth which is what she wants most. Ultimately she still has a choice because she could refuse to help them. She would still be a prisoner, and the Oankali would just put her back to sleep, but there is always a choice there. So for now, based on my hypothesis and examples Lilith is choosing to play that mother-like figure to the other humans.